Bar passers Habeas Corpuz, Nat King Coles both instructors

Buena Bernal

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Social media is abuzz with their unique names. It turns out, Habeas Corpuz, 35, and Nat King Coles, 34, are both political science teachers in the Visayas.

'CUTE' NAMES. Among the names that drove social media buzz in the list of 2013 bar passers were that of Habeas Corpus (left) and Nat King Coles (right). Photo from Corpus and Coles' sister

MANILA, Phillipines – At noon Tuesday, March 18, upon the announcement of the Supreme Court (SC) of the results of the 2013 Bar Examinations, social media was abuzz over two names in the list of passers.

Habeas Corpuz*, 35, and Nat King Coles, 34, were the subject of celebratory remarks online mainly due to their unique names.

Corpuz is named after a court order that requires appearance of a person under arrest before a court; Coles, after an American singer.

It turns out, Corpuz and Coles are both college instructors.

Corpuz is a full-time faculty member of the College of Arts & Sciences, University of Visayas, while Coles is a college instructor at the Eastern Samar State University (ESSU).

Corpuz and Coles teach political science and social science subjects.

Lawyer Jovi Opinion, dean of the ESSU College of Law, referred to Coles as a silent (“tahimik”) but good (“magaling”) student. “‘Yung iba, kulang sa preparation,” Opinion said. (Others [in his batch] lacked preparation.)

Corpuz, on the other hand, said he didn’t expect an overflow of congratulatory remarks and a favorable media reception over his passing.

For Corpuz, his passing the 2013 Bar Examinations is a dream come true.

Bata pa lang po ako, Ma’am, gusto ko na pong maging lawyer po,” he said. (Even when I was a kid, I had always wanted to become a lawyer.)

Origin of names

Coles said he has yet to speak with his father on why he was named after the famous American musician Nat King Cole but said it is likely that Cole is his father’s favorite singer.

Corpuz, on the other hand, said it was his father’s decision to name him Habeas.

Kasi ‘yung father ko po, Ma’am, is sundalo, tapos kasagsagan noon ng EDSA Revolution ‘tsaka ‘yung kudeta nila [ni] President Cory ‘yung [birth ko]. Tinanong po siya nung nurse, ‘Ano’ng name niya?’ Sabi niya lang po, ‘Ah, Habeas!’” he said.

(Because my father, Ma’am, is a soldier, and it was the height of the EDSA Revolution and the coup d’etat [led by] President Cory. The nurse asked my dad what should the name of the baby be. My dad said, “Ah, Habeas!”)

Coles said he was never mocked as a kid due to his name, but people would often ask about who in the family was a big fan of Cole.

For Corpuz, it was a different story. He wanted to change his name early on.

Nung elementary ako, sabi ko, ‘Ma, palitan ‘nyo na ‘yung pangalan ko kasi pinagtatawanan ‘yung name ko,’” he said. (When I was in elementary [school], I told my mother, “Ma, have my name changed because they ridicule my name.”)

The same name that was once the object of mockery is now gaining him social media fame as a new lawyer. –

*We earlier used Habeas Corpus instead of Habeas Corpuz. We made all the necessary corrections. We apologize for the error. 

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